Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Review: It Ain't So Awful Falafel: A Novel by Firoozeh Dumas/Children's Books-Literarute-Fiction-Growing Up & Facts of Life

Hello dear Readers,

Below my book review of It ain't so awful Falafel: A Novel by Firoozeh Dumas.

This is Firoozeh Dumas's most recent published work. It is a little bit different from her other books, more oriented to children, middle-grade audience, a middle -grade fiction debut novel but in my opinion Teens and Adults could enjoy it as well. The Author keeps the humor, the reality, her unique voice we can find in her other books, this time we meet Zomorod and her journey, family, friendship, to adapt to a different culture and the power of love and kindness

Title: It Ain't So Awful Falafel: A Novel
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Children's Books/Literarute-Fiction-Growing Up & Facts of Life
Author: Firoozeh Dumas
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Publication Date: May 03, 2016
Language: English
Hardcover: 384 pages
Meet the Author: Firoozeh Dumas
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description
Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name—Cindy. 

It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can't distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. 

A poignant yet lighthearted middle grade debut from the author of the best-selling Funny in Farsi.

My Thoughts

As I mentioned on a previous post Firoozeh Dumas is now one of my favorites Authors. Why? I love the way she tells her stories, her unique voice and how even if she is talking about serious topics but she always finds a way to put a little bit of humor on everything she writes. It ain't so awful Falafel is not the exception.

It ain't so awful Falafel follows the story of Zomorod, an eleven year old girl from Iran and her journey living in America. Her father, an Oil Engineer is assigned to come to America to work on a project with an Oil company so is the fourth time Zomorod finds herself in a new city, New Port Beach, California, being the new kid, new school and a new start.
 Despite all the obstacles Zomorod or Cindy encounters, she changes her name so it's easier for Americans to pronounce it and remember it, having to adapt to a new culture, a new city, new neighbors, not so sure if she will fit in her new school, being one of the highlights in the story the not so good relationship between the USA and Iran in the late 1970's and all the bad things that situation brought to Iranians living in the USA but Zomorod manages to make new friends, Carolyn, Howie and Rachel and wont say much, dont want to spoil the book but at the end things come to a good resolution for Zomorod, her mom and dad which made me really happy.

What a like about this book? Everything, the writing, the characters, the humor, the story. It was so good to have Zomorod as the narrator. I love her. Her voice and how conscious of her reality she is for an 11 year old and how she always tries to see the best on every situation no matter how hard it is. I love her excitement on every new situation she gets to experiment in America. When she joins the Girl Scouts, goes camping, Halloween, eating Tacos. I love how appreciative she is of all these moments. Zomorod is a very smart, funny and curious girl, again for her age, so conscious and observant of her own reality and the people around her. 

"So I chose the most normal American name I knew, Cindy. Like the Cindy Brady from The Brady Bunch.

It's not like I'm trying to pretend that I'm not Iranian. I just want people to ask questions about me when we meet, not about where I'm from. Why does that matter, anyway? Yes, there are a few differences between me and any other kid in America, but these are the main ones:

1. I speak Persian at home.

2 The only pet I have ever owned is a goldfish. I realize that goldfish are a sad excuse for a pet, since you cannot hold them, walk them, train them, or do anything fun at all. Worst of all, they never act like they like you, no matter what do you do for them.

3. My mom does not know how to make oatmeal raisin cookies.

4. All my friends are in books."

This book is so captivating, could not put it down, read it in two days and did not want it to end. 

All the cultural elements behind it and as the Author explains at the end, this is semi-autobiographical, some parts really happened in the Authors life, makes you somehow feel more connected to the story, to the characters, to the writing.
 It ain't so awful Falafel, a story about family, love, friendship, and one thing that is mentioned and prevails in the story, kindness, no matter how bad things were, Zomorod's family always tried to show kindness to other people, no hate but kindness.

"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers". -Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire. 

It ain't so awful Falafel, a book I totally recommend. Cant wait for more of Firoozeh books to come out.

My Favorite Quote
"If I had one son and one daughter and could only educate one of them, I would educate my daughter. You know why? A girl without an education has no power, she is always at the mercy of others". -Zomorod (Cindy)'s dad.


No comments:

Post a Comment